Chaydok fought his way through the thick brush for hours. A spear was slung carelessly across his back. He
was scratched, tired, and hungry. When he finally reached a clearing he stopped gratefully. He threw down his pack and pulled out his tinder box. There were enough sticks and twigs around to get a
small fire going so he could go search for larger firewood. He was gone for a few minutes and returned with an armful of logs. Tossing these down, he thought about supper. There was still enough
light for a short hunt. Grabbing his spear he crept towards the woods. About ten yards away he noticed a small doe come from the trees. Excitement built in him as he raised his spear and got ready
to throw. He yelped as an arrow flew past his ear. The deer needless to say bolted away like a shot. Chaydok snarled and whirled to face the archer. At the edge of the clearing was a dark garbed
figure. A long bow was in its hand. At its side was a broadsword in a sheath. Across its back was a quiver of arrows. The bow was pulled back taut and an arrow strung. Chaydok stood stock still as
time slowed. The figure loosed the arrow. Chaydok gasped and leapt to the side. The bolt missed by a hair’s breadth. Chaydok landed and rolled to his feet pulling out his scimitar. The figure
growled and cast away his bow to draw his broadsword. The pair faced each other. The figure charged first. His sword was swinging in a complicated combination of moves. Chaydok blocked and parried
with all of his might. When he saw an opening he sliced at the creature’s side.
The unearthly howl rent the night air. Anger flashed in the figure’s eyes. Chaydok jumped back and fell.
The figure was upon him in an instant. Chaydok was terrified. “What name does my killer have?” he asked breathlessly. The figure chuckled. “My name is Hutjey. And I have waited for months for
Lucifer to allow me to kill you.” The figure snarled. Chaydok smiled. And they said Demons were supposed to be smart. With a yell he brought his sword up into Hutjey’s leg. Hutjey shrieked and
threw himself backwards. Chaydok leapt up and raised his blade. Hutjey went into a panotomic rage. His attacks became reckless and predictable. At every swing Chaydok felt himself gaining
advantage. Finally Hutjey swung at Chaydok and found a blade embedded in his thigh. The Demon screamed and dissipated into mist. Chaydok sank to his knees and gasped for breath. He sat there for a
few minutes to gather his strength and wandered back to his camp. He found his fire going and a young boy of about fifteen sitting near it . Chaydok was too delirious to care. He just lay down on
his mat and fell asleep.
Chaydok awoke long after the break of day and looked around. The boy was gone. A plate of food was beside
his mat so he dug in greedily. The meal was only a slice of buttered bread and a piece of cheese but after nothing but dried venison for two weeks it seemed like heaven. As he was eating the boy
came back dragging a dead wolf. Chaydok eyed him suspiciously. The boy smiled at him and pulled out a knife to begin skinning the wolf. After about ten minutes he was done. He made a rack to put
over the fire and carved off a large section of wolf flank. This he threw onto the rack. A short time later he took it off and put it on a plate which he gave to Chaydok. Chaydok was a little wary
of eating wolf. “How do I know it’s safe?” he asked not expecting an answer. “When you have to run for your whole life you learn to eat anything you catch.” The boy replied. Chaydok held down his
surprise. “And your name?” he asked in a would-be casual voice. The boy looked at the ground, “I’ve not got one.” He whispered. Chaydok was surprised but got up and put his arm around the boy’s
shoulders. “Then I christen you Vizot, after my father.” The boy nodded and cut another wolf steak. This he tossed on the rack and prepared his breakfast. Chaydok walked back to his mat and
sat down to his own steak. He was pleasantly surprised at the wonderful taste. It reminded him of a type of meat he tried a few years back. He had thought it was just a particularly fine quality
Vizot finished his steak and lay back on his mat looking at the sky. “So what is your name?” he asked.
“Chaydok” was the answer. Vizot nodded, “Where do you come from?” Chaydok stopped eating. “I come from what was once America before the Nuke war. There’s nothing there now but ash. At least there
are forests here in Europe. And you come from here?” Vizot shook his head, “I’m from the island of Gutyin. It’s off the coast of Norway. It was destroyed a few weeks after I was born. My father was
killed in the fighting and my mother fled with me to Ireland. We stayed there until I was about five, then the Retchit came and claimed it in the name of King Hithog. We then fled here. A few
months after that my mother was killed in the raids from Scotland. I ran into these woods and haven’t left it since.” He answered. Chaydok felt pity well up in himself. Without a word he grabbed
his bag and pulled out a long dagger with a jade handle and a ruby lined sheath. He handed this to Vizot. Vizot took it wide eyed. Chaydok smiled, “Let’s get going.”
Vizot guided Chaydok through the twisted mass of trees towards the nearest city; Gjonhit. It was the
center of trade and traffic in the whole expanse of Switzerland. “So why are you going there?” Vizot asked pulling a vine out of his scraggy hair. Chaydok was silent in thought for a moment. “I
have a wrong to rectify. A man named Jhkint killed a friend of mine last year. I heard he was in Gjonhit. So I plan to find him and kill him.” He stopped talking when he saw that Vizot’s jaw had
dropped. “You don’t mean the Jhkint? The right hand man to Lucifer?” he asked in shock. Chaydok merely nodded. Vizot fell silent.
After a few days of fighting through the dense undergrowth the forest opened to large hardwood wood with
thick trees. Vizot seemed uneasy. “We’ll have to take watches at night. This place is a Hell hole of bandits, monsters, and rouge elves. We might even come across a dwarf village though they happen
to be very rare.” He said as they went along. Chaydok just grunted. The pair walked forward into the open forest. Vizot seemed a little jumpy but was for the most part successful at hiding it. The
darkness filled in around them as they walked deeper into that dark evil feeling forest. Some of the trees reached out to snag them but most had branches too high to touch them. Chaydok’s
spear was slung across his back and his sword at his side. Vizot had his dagger at his side. The only sounds that they heard were the tweets of a few forlorn birds. Vizot pulled out a glowing orb
and gazed at it intently as they walked. “What’s that?” Chaydok asked looking at the smooth green surface. It was a perfectly round ball that seemed to hold all the secrets to life but they evaded
the open conscious of Chaydok’s mind. “It was given to me a few years ago by a wizard. He told me to use it at Death’s Door. I don’t know what it does.” Vizot answered. Vizot put the orb back in
his pouch and focused his attention on the worn path they were on. Suddenly he stopped. His eyes were wide and his ears twitched. “Hide!” he hissed, disappearing into the branches of a low hanging
tree. Chaydok was surprised but ran to a different tree and leapt into it. Just in time too. A posse of short, stocky, well armed creatures came from around an aspen grove. And by well armed I mean
axes, throwing hatchets, daggers, and a sword. This is what each one was wearing. And each had about a hundred pounds of armor. But all of this seemed to hinder them little. They moved with
surprising speed and purpose….Right under Chaydok’s tree. Chaydok guessed they were dwarves. Out of nowhere a branch fell onto the company. One got hit in the head and cursed. He looked up and
saw Chaydok. His face switched from anger to surprise. He called out and the company halted. Suddenly there were twenty dwarves crowded around the tree. One motioned him to come down and smiled.
Chaydok was wary but came down slowly. When his feet hit the ground the dwarves looked at him in wonder. The dwarf the branch hit smiled at him and extended a hand. The dwarfs’ heads were at
Chaydok’s shoulder. He shook the iron grip and grimaced as he felt his bones groan in the dwarf’s hand. The dwarf apparently realized he hurt Chaydok for his smile vanished. “My apologies my
friend” he said with a thick accent. Chaydok grunted as he massaged his hand. The dwarf bowed low. “How rude of us. We haven’t introduced ourselves. I am Gnardax, leader of the Gultin Company.
These are my men.” He said gesturing to the others. Chaydok was then given a full naming of the Company. They went in alphabetical order from Altayin to Zexil. Each dwarf bowed and said the same
two words; Thitine Pyintu. Gnardax said it meant ‘Peace to you friend.’ Chaydok stared around for Vizot but he wasn’t in sight. He walked over to the tree the boy had vanished into but he wasn’t in
it. Chaydok shrugged and turned to the dwarves. “Do you know of a young boy that wanders these woods?” he asked. The dwarves’ faces darkened. “Does he have long black hair and a scar on his cheek?”
Gnardax asked. “He has the same hair but I know not of a scar. Do you know how he got it?” he answered. Gnardax nodded. “I gave him the scar. He visited our village and insulted us by hunting the
sacred deer. I was going to kill him but he escaped. The scar was a token.” He said gruffly. He looked up at the tree tops. “We must be going now. Our village is expecting us. You can come with us
and be our guest.” He offered. Chaydok accepted this offer gratefully. As they departed Chaydok looked back and thought he saw a flash of movement but an instant later all was still.
The village was nothing like Chaydok imagined. He had thought there would be grim faced guards by a thick
gate and unfriendly citizens. What he met was a gathering of happy, laughing dwarves. He had also imagined that the women were bearded and ugly. Again he was surprised. The women were fairer than
any human he had ever seen. As he walked in the dwarf children ran around his legs and climbed up to sit on his shoulders. He saw a few teenage dwarf girls looking at him and giggling. He winked at
them and chuckled as they hit a huge giggling fit. Gnardax brought him to the center of the village to a small hut. When he reached it everyone around got quiet. Chaydok watched in wonder as a
large dwarf emerged from inside. On his head was a helm of bronze and a sword hung at his side. He motioned Chaydok over and told him to kneel. “Before we partake of our feast let us welcome our
guest Chaydok.” He called. Chaydok guessed that Gnardax had told him his name. The old dwarf whose name was Glacdow placed a ring of gold on Chaydok’s hand. Then the feast began. There were
numerous and plenty courses and Chaydok soon became lost in all of the names and dishes. One of the dwarf girls finally got up the courage to come and talk to him. Her name was Jinna. She was
extremely tall for a dwarf. Her head reached Chaydok’s nose. Surprisingly her parents were short for dwarves. Jinna had a beautiful laugh and her smile was like glittering glass. Her hair was a
deep red. She walked over and sat down by Chaydok and smiled at him. “Hello” she said, “I am Jinna.” Chaydok smiled back. “And I am Chaydok.” He answered. He noticed that her eyes were a beautiful
shade of blue. They sat and talked for near an hour. He found out that she was his age, eighteen, she liked sparring, and she was an orphan. Her parents had been killed in an Elvish skirmish.
As the feast progressed the dwarves brought out different forms of entertainment. From dancers to
sparers Chaydok enjoyed every minute of it. Jinna explained what every dance meant and smiled as he held a look of confusion at the complicated names. Chaydok became aware of a strange noise above
the instruments and dwarf singing. A ringing sound. A foul sound. He gasped as he realized what he was hearing. Swords! Chaydok jumped up and drew his sword. “Everybody down!” he screamed. The
dwarves stopped immediately and threw him questioning looks. He turned and held his sword in front of him. The dwarves went into hysterics as an arrow whizzed and struck Glackdow dead. Chaydok
raised his hand and a blast of light lit the woods. A small army was gathered in the trees. At the flash they charged forward. Chaydok was surprised to see that these weren’t Demons, but mortal
men. They bore on their shields the crest of an unfamiliar king. The crest composed of a snake winding around the neck of a man and baring it’s fangs. Upon each man’s head was a helm of wrought
iron. Their weapons varied from axes to swords to spears and maces. Gnardax was barking orders as the warriors began swarming over the village. Chaydok guessed their numbers to be near four
hundred. He held his ground as the soldiers charged him. Brandishing his sword he raised his hand forward. “Bknowa Giltoshiy!” he bellowed. A jet of freezing mist shrouded the soldiers. After a
moment the men began to scream and cry in agony as their very souls froze. The dry ice burned their skins and armor. The warriors behind surged back wards. Horror fell onto their faces as the
watched their friends die. The apparent leader of the group walked forward. His eyes gleamed red under his visor. “Sorcerer!” he hissed, “If you have any honor you will fight us as men. Not the
rabble you’re used to.” Chaydok nodded. He swung his sword high above his head and brought it down into a man’s back, killing him instantly. He turned and grinned evilly at the soldiers. “Come and
get some!” he barked. The leader growled and ordered a charge.
Chaydok met the onslaught head on. Swinging his sword in high arches he sliced through enemy after enemy.
His blade gleamed with delight at being used. No weapon seemed to hurt him. He was just sending a man to Hell when there came a mighty horn blast. Suddenly the dwarves emerged and surged up behind
Chaydok. Jinna stood behind him wielding two slim daggers. Gnardax was beside him with his axe. Chaydok nodded at him. Then, to the surprise of everyone a small figure leapt down from a tree to
stand right next to Chaydok. “Vizot!” Chaydok yelled happily. The boy was grim faced and dirty. He held in his hand the dagger that Chaydok had given him. His teeth were bared in a soundless snarl.
Gnardax looked at him and grunted. Chaydok turned back to their enemies with a triumphant grin. His sword gleamed forest green in the fire light. The leader lowered his sword a few inches. “What is
your blade’s name?” he asked. “Mangolin.” Came Chaydok’s reply. The leader growled and leapt at Chaydok. Chaydok brought Mangolin up in response. The leader twirled and swung at him but met only
Chaydok’s arm greave. Chaydok laughed as he pulled his arm back unharmed. “And your name?” he said, raising Mangolin. The leader stood up straight and slowly removed his helmet. “Jhkint!” he
Jhkint laughed, “Hello Chaydok. I heard you were looking for me so I decided to send my spy to find you. He motioned and Hutjey appeared next to him. The Demon had a shielding bandage on his
side. His face was contorted in rage. Jhkint was smiling. Around them the dwarves were fighting off the soldiers but losing. “You see Chaydok,” Jhkint said casually, picking up a dagger from a
fallen dwarf, “This is your last day alive. DIE!” he screamed. With one swift motion he flung it at Chaydok. Time slowed down. A sudden anger raged inside of Chaydok. He raised his hand and yelled,
“Julick Fliyata!” The Dagger stopped in mid air and spun around. With lightening speed it flew into Hutjey’s throat. The Demon gurgled as he died. Jhkint turned to Chaydok with a look of shocked
anger. A roar came from his throat as he charged. His sword was a blur. Inhuman were his attacks. Chaydok though was able to deflect them with ease. The man swirled around whacking and stabbing at
places Chaydok didn’t know he had. This pattern continued for what seemed like an eternity until Jhkint was finally able to slice into Chaydok’s leg. Chaydok shrieked and sank to his knees.
Mangolin hung loose in his hands. Jhkint circled around him like a wolf. His breath came in quick gasps. Chaydok stared at the ground. He looked up and saw Vizot fighting one of the many soldiers.
Gnardax was hewing heads left and right but it was apparent that it was a losing fight. Jhkint stopped in front of Chaydok and chuckled. “The great Chaydok.” He mocked, “Slain by the Devil’s
partner. How valiant. How courageous. To bad no one will ever hear your tale.” He raised his sword high above his head. Chaydok stared him in the eye as his blade fell. It fell……. And struck the
grass next to Chaydok. Chaydok stared at Jhkint in wonder and fear. The man looked at him for what seemed like forever. Finally he held out his hand to Chaydok. Chaydok was wary but took his hand
none the less. Jhkint smiled as he pulled him to his feet. “No one will know it because it didn’t happen.” He said. Then he grabbed Chaydok’s dagger from his belt and stabbed himself in the
Chaydok yelped in surprise. His enemy gave him one last smile and died. Around him the sounds of battle began to fade. When he looked up he saw the soldiers were dead or fleeing. Gnardax hewed a
final head and turned to him. He gave a cry when he saw Chaydok’s leg. Vizot hurried over and examined it while Gnardax lumbered behind. After a few minutes Vizot straightened up and grinned at
him. “You’ll live.” He said. “Sorry then.” Chaydok chuckled. Gnardax’s rumbling laughter filled the air. “Come on.” He laughed, “Let’s get you to a healer.” He put one of Chaydok’s arms around his
shoulder and began hobbling him to the nearest hut. Suddenly a blur of red streaked towards them. Jinna ran up and grasped him around the waist. “You’re alright!” she exclaimed. Chaydok grinned as
he leaned in and kissed her. His life was getting better, he thought as they hobbled towards the hut. Behind them the dwarves began their victory song and Chaydok knew he was home.
“So why did he kill himself?” Vizot asked, biting into a boiled chicken leg. Chaydok waited until he wasdone chewing before answering. “My best guess is that Jhkint had gained his last goal: to
strike me helpless. He didn’t want to return to his king empty-handed so he killed himself.” Was the answer. Jinna was sitting at the end of the bed sipping her soup quietly. They were all sitting
or lying around in the village healer’s house. Gnardax had a heavy bandage on his arm, Vizot had a head wrap, Chaydok had a leg wrap, and Jinna had her hands wrapped up. Gnardax also had a bandage
on his eye where he had lost it to an arrow. Chaydok sighed as he ate his full size boiled chicken.
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